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National Pet Month - Have you got a pet nup in place?

View profile for Kennedy Langley
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National Pet Month runs from April 1 - May 1 2023, and aims to promote responsible pet ownership. As a nation, we love our pets, and with more than half of households in the UK owning at least one pet, pets are a huge part of our lives for many of us.  

If you are in a relationship and own a pet together, have you ever discussed what will happen if you decide to part ways? While, at the moment, you might not see the need to draw up such an arrangement to cover such an eventuality, unfortunately, things can change. In this article, we look at why it might be worthwhile considering a 'pet nup'.

What is a pet nup?

A pet nup, also known as a pet prenup, is an agreement between two people who own a pet together. It outlines how they will handle the care and ownership of the pet should they decide to part ways. It is an important document to consider when in a relationship where there is a pet, as it can prevent a lot of heartbreak and stress if a couple decides to separate. 

What happens to pets in separation proceedings?

When a couple decides to separate, the ownership of the pet is typically based on who purchased the pet and who has been the primary carer.  This can be complicated and confusing, leading to drawn-out court proceedings and a potential tug-of-war over the pet. With a pet nup, the ownership of the pet is specified, so there is no need to go to Court.

Is a pet nup legally binding?

A pet nup is not a legally binding document. However, as with pre and post-nuptial agreements, they are being increasingly recognised during separation proceedings and given more consideration by the Court. It can make it easier for a judge to determine what will happen to the family pet.


​ Yes, as a pet is considered property under the law, a clause can be included in a standard pre-nuptial agreement to help prevent future disagreements in respect of the care of the pet and make pet custody after divorce clear.

Why should I consider getting a pet nup?

A pet nup is beneficial for both pet owners and pets. It ensures that both parties understand their rights and responsibilities regarding the pet, and it can help prevent disputes and court proceedings if you and your partner decide to part ways.

Advantages of having a pet nup agreement in place

Even if you think you might never need to use it, there are several advantages to drawing a pet nup agreement with your partner, as it can:

• Specify who is the primary owner of the pet
• Establish who will be responsible for the pet’s care and expenses
• Establish visiting rights, if desired
• Prevent disputes and court proceedings if you separate
• Protect both parties and the pet from potential legal and financial issues

Considering a pet nup is a great opportunity to discuss how the pet will be handled in the event of a separation and to put the necessary measures in place to protect the pet and both parties. In addition, taking the time to create a pet nup can save stress in the long run.

Contact Family Solicitor Kennedy Langley by emailing or by calling 01562 820181.